The ‘Lightbulb’ Moment…
Approximately eighteen months ago I was checking my emails whilst listening to the radio. One email was from the Globe Theatre in London and I happened to be looking through their linked, online catalogue. The radio station was BBC’s Radio 3 and a musician was talking about their preferred recording of a Wagner composition.
At that time, I had been a Wagner enthusiast for a few years – even seeing part of one of his compositions at the BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall… A thought occurred to me…: “What would it be like to hear the whole piece performed by German musicians and singers…?”
Anyway, back to the ‘lightbulb’ moment. As I was looking through said catalogue and deciding how to use my discount code, floating over the airwaves came Wagner’s ‘Ring Cycle’. And, almost simultaneously (I think), my eyes landed on the theatre’s ‘Shakespeare Dictionary’. 💡 How about combining the two? This could be a world first: The Ring Cycle written in Shakespearean language!
On New Year’s Day, 1st January 2022, I officially started the research. I was excited and looking forward to penning the ‘Shakespearean Ring’. I had a couple of German to English translations — good… Simply use the Shakespearean lexicon, etcetera, instead of contemporary English — and everyone will understand… But will they…? Where’s my red marker!
Stabreim v Couplet
Wagner’s ‘Ring’ (or ‘The Ring of the Nibelung’ to give you its full title) is a seventeen hour opera. He, himself, sourced various versions of the epic poem, writing and re-writing the text in stabreim. He also composed the music.
Definition of Stabreim: (Ger.). A versification style based on alliteration, common in German and other north European poetry of the early Middle Ages. It was adopted by Wagner when writing his own librettos …
This project will be a re-working into another poetic style, the couplet, and is based on research I conducted.
Definition of Couplet: two successive lines of verse forming a unit marked usually by rhythmic correspondence, rhyme, etc…
from: Merriam-Webster (online)
The first verse from part one penned recently:
The Ring of the Nibelung
📕 The Rhinegold
📗 The Valkyrie
📙 Twilight of the Gods
Part 1: The Rhinegold From left to right by nature’s design Flows continuously the ready River Rhine Lighter turquoise evenly spread Becoming darker towards the bed Near the floor the water dissipates Leaving an increasingly breathable state This vaporific man-sized space Moves continuously and at apace Across the floor of the riverbed Where no man can naturally tread Are rough rocks and undercurrent tides And vertical caverns unimaginably wild…